I’ll be honest, I do feel a bit of sadness that Hugh Hefner has passed. I know to many people he was an evil purveyor of sex and debauchery, but not to me. I remember the first time I saw a naked woman in Playboy, some of the boys in my neighborhood had dared me to look at it as they waited to see my expression for shock value and a good laugh! It wasn’t an attraction sexually, as they were all women, but more an appreciation for the beauty and exquisiteness of the female form. But it would also, ultimately began my journey of a lifelong battle of insecurity and self loathing at the stark realization that at just 5’2, I was never going to be a tall platinum blonde with legs for miles, and without the help of some silicone implants I was never going to have perky full tits. A solid D with nature’s blessing after childbirth, but certainly not perky having nursed three kids.
None the less, I feel a debt of gratitude to this man because those pages allowed me to understand how men viewed sexuality, so I was prepared for the reactions my ever-changing body garnered, as I hit puberty. It made for a less confusing time and one that really, in all honesty, freed me of sexual hang ups, allowing me to understand what I enjoyed about sex and why. Seeing those scantily clad women in a variety of poses meant to entice and excite, really did awaken my sexuality in many ways. While it would be years later, until I could fully appreciate this awakening, I do see how my exposure to this type of erotica sparked my curiosity. I also know that this type of material was not received with the same reverence that I, and many other prepubescent teens had embraced it.
For many years Hugh Hefner was protested against, vilified, and condemned for his so-called “exploitation” of women. Many people saw this as the fall of societal morays and to the religious, self-righteous, a sin. There were many women who felt that nudity of women was a way to objectify and demean women, and women who were looking to be taken seriously, shouldn’t allow themselves to be victimized and exploited in such a way. The views of some, sought to speak for the masses, but in reality, sales of Playboy issues skyrocketed, and woman were still taking their clothes off vying for the coveted title of Playboy Playmate of the Year, which would help to launch the career of many a famous model/actresses’ career. I personally, don’t see consensual adult nudity as an exploitation of women, and will vehemently defend the notion that just because a woman chooses to expose her body publicly does not mean she or other women deserve to be sexually harassed, abused, or disrespected, by men ever!
Even if you didn’t agree with all of what was going on or rumored to have gone on, at the infamous “Grotto” you had to admit there weren’t many people who frequented Hugh’s mansion complaining about the hedonistic conditions, or seeking absolution from the debauchery. They were having a blast, made no apologies for that fact, and weren’t about to stop!
We can debate for hours on why people either loved to hated this man, but no one can deny that sex sells and Hugh Hefner found a way to capitalize big time on smoking hot platinum blondes with top-notch T&A. At 91, he had found a way to still stay relevant, youthful, and virile, if reports from former playmates and his widow are accurate. While I’d like to think he made it past the pearly gates, I do chuckle about the memes depicting him, joking, “You think this is heaven?” for a man who was surrounded by earthly angels in skimpy clothes and stilettos.
Love or hate him, the man knew a thing or two about taking naked women and making them come alive on the pages of a centerfold with stunningly, beautiful photography, and making them the fantasy of the men and women who coveted the issues for a glimpse of God’s handiwork in the raw.
Goodbye Hugh, you managed to live a life of sheer abandon and heavenly bliss here on earth, it is time to rest and bask in the glory of your legacy.